Corbyn allies attempted to block action on antisemitism
Supporters of Jeremy Corbyn on Labour’s NEC tried to prevent disciplinary action being taken against party members, leaked minutes show.
Members of the party’s national executive committee, including Momentum founder Jon Lansman and MP Jon Trickett, argued against disciplinary action for party members accused of racism and other forms of antisemitism.
The minutes, leaked to the Guardian, show that Corbyn supporters acted as a ‘block vote’ on a number of cases they believed to be politically motivated.
At a meeting of the party’s disputes panel in March, chaired by former NEC member Christine Shawcroft, Corbyn supporters argued that a member who allegedly made threats against another over an accusation of antisemitism should not be expelled from the party.
Other cases where left-wing members pushed for expulsion to be ruled out included a members accused of making antisemitic comments on social media and a member accused of using a racial slur against a black candidate.
Panel chair Christine Shawcroft was later forced to resign from the NEC over accusations that she had defended a member accused of denying the Holocaust.
The minutes are likely to inflame the row over antisemitism within the party.
Euan Philips, spokesperson for Labour Against Antisemitism, told the Guardian that the NEC was failing to take complaints seriously.
‘We have been reporting this anti-Jewish racism for months and months now assuming that the party and the ‘quasi-judicial’ disputes panel would take it seriously,’ he said.
‘Anyone defending antisemitism should be off the NEC and out of the Labour Party.’
Ms Shawcroft defended the panel’s conduct, saying that ‘cases are presented for discussion, not for rubber stamping.’
After some debate, the majority of disciplinary recommendations brought before the panel were accepted without a vote.
Campaign Against Antisemitism are set to hold a demonstration outside Labour Party Head Office on Sunday, and filed a disciplinary complaint against the party two weeks ago.
Gideon Falter, Chairman of the group, said: 'Under Jeremy Corbyn, Labour has become a safe haven for racists.'
'He is at home amongst them, having spent his political career seeking out and giving succour to Holocaust deniers, genocidal antisemitic terror groups and a litany of Jew-haters.'